0530 on 6 Aug 1990
Mini-Campaign Fight #24
TF Hawk vs FSNL 8th Company
TF Hawk was pushing east towards the only bridge over the River Shalabi, looking to secure Task Force Hammer's lines of communication to the rear, but were slowed by the darkness and caught from behind by the FSNL's 8th Company. A hellacious fight ensued which saw TF Hawk's commanding officer killed in action (for the second fight in a row) and both sides recoiled into the darkness to rest and reorganize. Now 1st Lt Beriana has assumed command, but as he's getting their stuff straight and getting the boys in fighting shape, the Communist FSNL's 8th Company attacks them again!
This will be handled as a meeting engagement, with the Communists entering from the west and the Cubans from the east, using random deployment for both sides to simulate the chaos of fighting in the dark, running into contact while on the move, and the Cubans having to reorient 180 degrees to face their attackers.
Overview, north is right. There is a hardball road running west to east, with villages at bottom left and bottom right, as well as several knolls/hillocks, the most prominent of which became known as "Mortar Hill" (for reasons that will soon become obvious, center right top). Other than that we've got several cultivated fields and scattered jungle.
The opposing forces, allies on left and Communists on right.
The figures are all 10mm from Pendraken, Minifigs UK, and Butler's Printed Models. I'm using Ivan's "5Core Company Command," playing on a 3' x 2' surface with simple terrain to speed up the process. The hootches are from Jimmi at Flashpoint Minis, the roads are from Fat Frank, the hills are from Warzone, the fences are from Sarissa, the fields are from Hotzmats, the trees are cake toppers, and when you see the rivers, they're from Wargamers Terrain. I'm playing solo and will randomize enemy deployment using a system of blinds borrowed from Joe Legan's "Platoon Forward."
In terms of caliber of forces, the SLA, FSNL, and FLA troops will all be treated equally, except for the fact the FLA troops will be treated as fanatics, in terms of their willingness to advance into close combat. The Cubans are more tactically and technically proficient, and so they will receive extra firing dice, better rallying capability, bonus in close combat, and sometimes will have a second command stand on the table.
Lieutenant Beriana's force consists of: Command stand, six rifle stands, and an 81mm mortar team. The troops are Minifigs' Modern UK.
Additionally, there are some heroes present in TF Hawk/Dusty:
-1st Beriana, Hawk 03's Team Leader, who was awarded the Medal of Honor and meritoriously promoted to 1st Lieutenant
-Hawk 02 Team Leader, Bronze Star w/V
-Charles Gustav Recoiless Rifle Team Leader, Bronze Star w/V (not present in this fight)
*Please note that the old standard of having a Command stand and a separate single figure to represent Captain Villagrosa is now out the window since the previous TF Hawk Commanding Officer, 1st Lt Espinale, was killed in action and Captain Villagrosa assumed command of the combined Task Force Hawk-Dusty, but then he was killed, too...
The Communist force consists of: Command stand, six rifle stands, a BTR-80 armored personnel carrier, an AGS-17 30mm Automatic Grenade Launcher (AGL), and an 82mm mortar team. These troops and vehicles are all from Minifigs' Modern Soviets range.
Overview, this time with troops. You can see the Communists pushing ahead from the north (right, from top center to bottom center), while the Cubans are spread across the south side of the board (mostly far left, but with a few teams further north).
The Communists have two rifle teams at left center, with their CO at center, two more rifle teams right behind him, another atop Mortar Hill (top center right), and the last one at bottom center, with their AGL just left of them and their mortar team right of them. Lastly, their BTR is on the road, below Mortar Hill (center right top).
*The Cubans are in BIG trouble, with 'men down' and suppressed teams all over the place.
*I'm failing rally rolls like a champion this morning...
Lt Beriana is licking his chops, hoping to attack the enemy center ('men down' rifle team with white bead at right center)...
With both sides suffering horrendously and, so far, indecisively, the enemy CO (bottom center) makes a rash decision...
Wow, that was... different. Don't misunderstand, it was mostly fun, but it really bogged down at the end, and yes, I admit it, the enemy Commander deciding to charge was a mercy kill. Whomever won that close combat was going to win the battle, and yes, it was weighted towards the Cubans owing to their quantitative advantage and their CO having won the Medal of Honor. But it's done and we're happily moving on ;)
Cuban: ~20 men
Communist: ~25 men, with another ~10 men and a damaged BTR-80 captured
-1st Lt Beriana, Acting CO for TF Hawk, was awarded the Bronze Star w/V for defeating the enemy's final assault on Mortar Hill in close combat, then counterattacking to capture an enemy armored personnel carrier and rifle team and drive the remaining forces off.
-Hawk 03 Team Leader was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star w/V for defending his suppressed team in close assault by an enemy rifle team and defeating them before being killed in action during a later close combat.
Next up we have Task Force Hammer, not led by LtCol Halabrio since Major Chavez was wounded, meeting the FSNL's 9th Company on the road to Pendrakenville.